The Backyard Breeders' and Puppy Millers' Big Book of Old Excuses
© Denna Pace 2001

1. When called on bad breeding practices, ALWAYS claim that you are merely an innocent posting as a favour to a friend or family member.

2. Point out that everybody you know breeds this way, therefore it must be

3. Claim that "snobby show breeders" are only criticizing you because they
want to corner the market on puppy profit.

4. Claim that a Champion in the pedigree is just as good as 56 Champions in the pedigree. Not that it matters, because you doubt that there is such a
thing as a dog with 56 champions in the pedigree.

5. Claim that you are just trying to produce good pets, therefore good pets
are all you need for breeding.

6. When asked about health testing, enthusiastically point out that your
bitch had a health checkup before breeding.

7. Be sure to mention that you do not need to run such health tests as OFA,
CERF, thyroid, cardiac, patellae, etc., because your dogs look healthy and
had no visible problems at their last vet checkup.

8. Point out that these tests cost too much and would cut into your profit
margin. Be sure to champion the right of poor people to breed dogs.

9. Confidently assure worried rescuers that no puppy you produce, or any of
their puppies or grand puppies or great-grandpuppies will end up in shelters
because you have a bunch of friends who have told you that they'd like a pup
from your bitch.

10. Point out that you don't need Championships or working titles on your
dogs because you are breeding for temperament and your dog is really sweet.

11. Silence those annoying people who ask about your health guarantee by
assuring them that buyers can return any sick puppies and you will replace
it with another pup as long as it got sick within a certain amount of time
of sale and as long as you don't think the buyer did something to make the
puppy sick.

12. If your breed or line is rare (or you have a "rare" color, or believe
your breed or colour is rare), be sure to remind everyone that you do not
need to show, temperament test, or health test your breeding stock because
you are doing the world a service by continuing this "rare" breed/colour/line.

13. No matter what anyone else says, claim that you obviously know what you are doing because you've been breeding for a long time. Point to the
hundreds of puppies you've pumped out over the years as proof.

14. If this is your first attempt at breeding, make sure to remind everyone
that you HAVE to breed your dog because how else are you going to learn how to breed?

15. Assure everyone that your dog does not need to be shown because you were assured by someone at Petsmart/the park/the vet's office/a friend that your dog is a perfect example of the breed.

16. Always remember that "rare" colours, oversized or undersized dogs, and
mixes of popular breeds are great selling points. Anyone who doesn't think
so is obviously not in tune with their customers' wishes.

17. Claim that your dogs are better because they are not inbred, as
inbreeding obviously produces sick/stupid/deformed dogs. If breeding poo [as in "Cock-a-Poo," "Peek-a-Poo," etc.] dogs or other mutts, always point to "hybrid vigor" as proof of your dogs' superiority.

18. Remind everyone that you do not need a waiting list because your puppies are cute.

19. Assure everyone that your puppies will not end up in shelters because
they are cute.

20. Claim that YOUR breed never ends up in shelters in your area, therefore
your puppies will never end up in shelters.

21. If asked why you think your dogs are breeding quality, point out that
they "have papers." Extra points awarded for using the phrase KC
Certified." Double points if those papers come from the Continental Kennel

22. If you sell a sick puppy, always blame the owners for making it sick. If
the owners are clearly not responsible, blame their vet. (see #11)

23. If presented with irrefutable evidence proving you wrong on any excuses
you have used, pretend your server did not   receive the post/e-mail.

24. Claim that none of the rules of ethical breeding apply to you because
you only intend to have one litter and therefore   aren't a "real" breeder.

25. If all else fails, tell everyone who criticizes you to "get a life."

Written by Denna Pace . It was compiled by reading the horrible BYB ads on rec.pets.dogs.breed. Please credit when quoting.



Although the article below 'The Price of Popularity' was written about America the same problems apply here only on a lesser scale.


Why should you not buy from commercial breeders.

1. These breeders are more concerned with the sale that they are with good pedigrees. They tend to buy and sell  breeding stock to each other since no responsible breeder would allow then to have one. This means that health issues are not their priority. Imported stock does not neccessarily mean good , healthy stock. Some import because it is their only meams of obtaining IGs.

2. They are charging exorbitant prices.

3.They do not care whether or not you area suitable home. It pays to have good contact with IGs before you decide this is the breed for you.

Because Italian Greyhounds are in short supply we now have commercial breeders. Please note that commercial breeders often appear bona fide.Even though the pups may be well reared and in the house, it does not mean they are not being bred for purely commercial reasons. Many of these breeders appear to be caring but there are precautions that you can take to prevent being hoodwinked.

1. If the puppies cannot be K.C. ( Kennel Club ) registered, forget them.

2. If they can be, check with the K.C. how many litters/puppies the breeder has registered in the past, especially the past few years.

3. Never ever be tempted by puppies advertised on the internet.

4. Be patient and wait for the right puppy from the right breeder.

See our page  'Guide to Buying a Puppy'


So, which breed of dog is most commonly bred by puppy millers? According to Baker, the answer changes with the trends. “If there’s a TV show or a movie that features a certain breed, then that’s the breed you’ll see in the puppy mills. A few months later, when another breed becomes that season’s hot, ‘must-have’ dog, puppy mill owners will simply get rid of those unlucky enough to have fallen out of public favor. Sometimes they will be shot, and sometimes simply starved to death.”

In February 2008, Baker experienced this situation firsthand during an undercover investigation of a puppy mill in Quarryville, PA. “I asked if the owner had any dogs for sale. He said, ‘Yeah, I’m stuck with these Italian greyhounds that aren’t selling anymore.’ I went out into his bitterly cold cow barn and found an Italian greyhound who was about to give birth. He was intentionally starving her to death; she was skin and bones. I got her out of there and took her to Main Line Animal Rescue —the vet who treated her said that she wouldn’t have survived another 12 hours at the mill. It’s a classic puppy mill story: ‘This dog isn’t selling, so why should I feed it?’ To them, these animals are nothing more than products.”

The greyhound, now named Cecilia, gave birth to a litter of seven. The puppies were so sick at birth that they needed to be resuscitated; only four survived. Cecilia spent the next two weeks on an IV drip for emaciation and dehydration.


Due largely to the ASPCA’s efforts, the puppy mill owner was charged with cruelty, to which he pled guilty. However, in a stunning judicial decision, he was fined just $35 for operating a kennel without a state license—a license that he had surrendered earlier in order to avoid inspections by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Dog Law.

There is good news, though! Cecilia and all four of her puppies have been nursed to health and adopted into loving homes. Check out the before and after pictures below to see the little Italian greyhound’s amazing transformation.